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Liberals promise to ban military assault weapons if elected.

I haven’t seen this yet in the media in my quick scan of headlines (though I expect it will be soon) but I saw this press release from the Liberals that should resonate in many urban centres across Canada. The Liberals will ban military assault weapons and add them to the prohibited weapons list if elected, which was very appropriately announced by Dion at Dawson College, the scene of a tragic shooting of a young girl in 2006:

Mr. Dion at an event at Dawson College (said) “Military assault weapons have no connection to hunting or sport shooting, and serve absolutely no purpose in our society. No one outside of the military needs these weapons and we would all be safer without them in Canada.” A Liberal government would ensure that the list of prohibited weapons is updated to include all military assault weapons. This approach was supported last Thursday by Coroner Jacques Ramsay in his report into the tragic shootings at Dawson College in 2006.

So, Dion is endorsing the official coroner’s report on this by promising to implement it as a policy. I’ll be very interested to see if Harper and his Public Safety Minister Stockwell Days does as well.

In addition, Dion promised that the government’s firearms advisory committee would be made to reflect broader opinions across Canada then it currently is now:

Under the Conservatives the committee had been quietly stacked with firearms enthusiasts, providing little in the way of unbiased advice. “While the voices of legitimate gun owners deserve to be heard on the committee, we will ensure that there are representatives of major police associations – like the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Police Association, health and safety experts and true advocates of gun control on the committee.

I also like Dion saying that “Stephen Harper cannot be tough on crime when he is soft on guns”. I think that is a prefect way to show Harper and the Conservatives have a double standard on this “tough on crime” spiel that this right-wing bunch tend to use to try to portray everyone else as soft. Reminding voters that Harper and the Conservatives are ideologues comparable to the National Rifle Association and their Republican allies is a good line of attack. Gun control and their visceral opposition to it is a soft spot in the Conservative armour – at least in urban Canada.

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